2016 Topps Bunt Tips / Strategy

FOR A CHECKLIST OF ALL 2016 INSERTS AND RELEASES – CLICK HERE! 

Outside of main game play, here are my tips for all new users. If you need to know how to play the game itself, please consult the app’s help section. This part of the site will be a running list of tips for both basic and more advanced gameplay. The community functions in a very similar way to other online gatherings, as the subtleties of the game can be immense. Familiarizing yourself with the unwritten rules will only serve to improve your status and reputation.

Card Structure

  • The game itself is divided into two very different parts. One element is collecting the base and rare cards, and the other element is gaming alongside live MLB games.
  • Base cards are all cards that feature the 2016 Topps Baseball Design
  • Insert cards are all cards that are specially inserted into packs or available through direct purchase, usually rarer than the normal base cards by a signficant margin
  • Base cards have 10 levels, which all score at different levels when used in the gameplay part of Bunt. Levels 1-5 are available through packs, levels 6 and 7 are available through direct purchase and card exchange, and levels 8-10 are only available through card exchange. Each level of base has a different color and a different boost level. They range from 1x the scoring formula at level 1, all the way up 5x at  level 10 gold.
  • To use the card exchange, you will need to turn in copies of the card at a lower level than you are exchanging, plus some equipment cards specific to the player type.
  • Most insert cards score at 1x and are more targeted at people who want to collect rare cards. Some inserts score at higher levels, and the boost level can be seen on the back of the card.
  • To see how many of a certain card is in circulation, check the small card count number on the back right bottom corner
  • All cards from 2012-2014, and most from 2015 will not score in 2016. There are selected sets (like prospects) that score. To find out if a card will score, go to your contest screen, join a contest, and look at the cards available in your deck. If those cards do not show, they are non scoring cards.

Insert Structure

There are many types of insert sets, but only two types of basic inserts.

  • The first type is an insert with limited card count, which means that only a certain amount are available before the card will go sold out.
  • The second type of insert is unlimited, which means that that the card is only available during a certain timeframe and the count can go as high as necessary.

It is important to understand that with unlimited inserts, cost, odds to pull it, and timers can all have a big impact on the final insert card count. If the cost is high, the odds are high, and the timeframe to get it is short, the card count will be super low. With unlimited inserts, try to pay attention to these elements and watch count before determining how much you want to invest to get the card.

Insert Releases

When it comes to the collecting side of Bunt, inserts are the main way people function within the app. Insert releases can come at any time, and you will need to pay attention to Twitter or your push notifications to get fair warning when they are coming out.

All inserts will usually be accompanied by an article in the newsfeed. That is always the first place I go when I check into the app. You may need to refresh from the top a few times to get the new articles to load.

The bigger inserts will be released in the afternoon or evening, when the most people are online, so make sure to check in frequently with your sources to make sure you dont miss out on a limited release.

Marathons

Some inserts are collected in a season long set. These 30 week “Marathons” have 3 legs that offer special award cards for completing the set, as well as a bigger award for getting all 30. The most important marathons are some of the most valuable cards in the game. Here is the ranking of marathon sets by importance:

  • Limited Series (EXTREMELY tough to pull)
  • Signature Series (Tough to pull)
  • Relics (Tough to pull)
  • Editor’s Choice (Tough to pull)
  • Gallery
  • Turkey Red
  • Nicknames

Determining Value

Card values are determined by a slew of factors, and you will sometimes need to break the code to make sure you get a good read on worth when trading or selling a card.

  • Card Count – the lower the card count available, the more valuable a card will be
  • Points boost – the higher the point boost, the more value associated with the card
  • Team – Better and more popular teams will have higher value due to demand
  • Player – Cards for players that score a lot of points are going to be more value
  • Set – Certain sets have higher value regardless of card count
  • Card type – Sigs have enormous value, and can make a card of a similar count look cheap. A 200 count sig will have more value usually than any other 200 card card.

NOTE: Just because card counts are equal, does not mean they are equal in value.

Playing the Game

  • To participate in the gaming element of 2016 Bunt, click on the little flag at the bottom to open the Contest screen. There, you will be able to select from any number of specific contests to play along side other users.
  • There are two types of contests, free and premium (pay to play)
  • Free are open to everyone and you can join with no investment
  • Premium contests cost an entry fee, which is non-refundable
  • Prizes for each contest will differ, and you can see the prize offered from the screen that shows the contest rules.
  • Each contest will have specific rules, so read carefully before you decide which contest to join. There could be elements in play that require you to have certain cards, or play only teams from a certain league, or play a specific type of card. This means its important to confirm you have those cards before signing up.
  • Contest rules also dictate the style of play that users will have to adhere to. Fantasy contests are more dependent on setting a daily lineup like fantasy baseball. There will not be many if any switches allowed. Bunt style contests allow unlimited switches, and require a completely different approach.
  • To score enough to hit the award platforms on Bunt contests, you will need to change your lineup frequently over the day. If the contest lasts over the course of more than a few games, the more times you change your lineup the better.
  • In these contests, there is no limit to how many times you change your lineup, which means you can technically switch out your players each half inning as long as you have enough cards at your disposal. Not every contest will have a switch limit, thus allowing you to change as many times as you want without any penalty or limitation.
  • Cards MUST BE IN YOUR STARTING LINEUP at the time the points are accumulated to get the points for the player. Players on your bench will not score, even if they hit a home run or throw a perfect game. You need to have them in play to score.
  • Points are accumulated through the MLB API feed, which means that they will only be updated live as the other MLB apps get the feed. Points are not instant, but are accumulated usually by the end of the next play. Before making any switches, make sure you get the points by refreshing your total. Do not take out a player until you get the points from their action.
  • You can play more than one card of any player at any time in your starting lineup as long as contest rules allow, so try to get more copies of your top scoring cards to play multiples for higher accumulation of points.
  • Pitchers and batters both have advantages and disadvantages. Its best to learn the way the points accumulate so you know when to play which type of card.
  • Positive actions by batters are highly rewarded in the game, which means it is good strategy to put in batters with any runners on base. Strikeouts can really hurt points, so avoid strikeout prone hitters in fantasy contests.
  • Pitchers are really good for streaming along with the games, because they will have many opportunities to score in each half inning they play. Negative actions by a pitcher will be as painful as ever in 2016, so try to stay away from pitchers that have high WHIP in fantasy contests, or give up a lot of XBH.
  • Home runs can make or break your lineup, depending on which side of the points you are on. If Trout hits a home run against Chris Sale, people with Trout will get a ton of points, and people with Sale will get killed with negative points. Try to get hitters in when you see a HR, and get those pitchers out.
  • Dont forget that runners can get points too, so if someone is a top base stealer or scores a lot of runs, play them. If the batter at the plate doesnt have cards you can play, at the very least play the runners on base so that you can get points for the actions the runners complete.

Contest Prizes

It is in your best interest to play in as many contests as possible. Prizes will range from coins to packs of cards, to blaster boxes that have multiple packs of cards. More cards will mean more trade bait and more trade bait will mean better lineups available when you trade for stuff you need. If you get coins instead of cards, it can help get you more ammo to open insert packs, which can be very tough to pull anything other than base.

When you join a contest, especially a pay contest, you will be able to see the prizes being offered. Premium contests will have better prizes, as you will need to pay the entry fee before participating. Some contests will require you to spend past your daily bonus, so make sure you only play in contests you research ahead of time, unless coins are not in short supply for you.

Prizes are awarded for places below first, so you do not need to win to get something out of the contest. Weigh the prize you will probably win against the cost of the contest to get a good gauge of whether it is worth playing that contest. Free contest should be played every time they are available.

First Class and Points Challenge Contests

New this year are two contests that close the week, offering exclusive inserts only available for playing along during Sunday’s games. In the First Class Challenge, you will complete with all users in all levels to place within the top 100. For placing, you can get one of a few cards that are offered based on your rankings. In the first contest, a 1/1 was offered for the top finisher, a prize that most consider to be the most valuable in the game.

If you are not at a level where you can compete with everyone in the major contest, there is a points challenge where you can still have access to an exclusive card, and you will only need to score a handful of points to get one.

Both contests cost enough that you will need to save your daily bonus to participate without buying from the store. Keep that in mind as you progress toward Sunday.

Levels – NEW FOR 2016

New for 2016 is the introduction of player levels, which showcase your progress within the game. Each level is composed of XP granted within the app for completing certain tasks or actions. As your level grows, your access to the game should increase. You will play against more seasoned users, and there are other parts of the game that might be accessible. Depending on how much this prestige means to you should be a determining factor on your attention to the actions required to increase XP.

Boxes – NEW FOR 2016

Once or twice per month, Bunt will release a box of cards that can be purchased through the store. These boxes will be 1 special pack, followed by a certain number of other packs, all with one singular set involved. In the special pack, called a boxloader, there will be a checklist of super valuable cards that are the reason many people buy these for the price available.

Some of the boxes will feature ultra limited boxloaders, others will feature a wide variety of fun cards that fit the theme of the set. These cards can range from hundreds of dollars in value to very little, but it all depends on the type of card.

The other packs included with the box are usually base cards and other inserts that can be valuable in their own right. Do some research prior to buying and determine if the price you will be spending will be enough to get you enough return.

In most cases, the base packs will eventually be made available in single pack form, but not until later in the box’s release. If you just want a base card or two from the set, it might be best to trade or wait for the single packs.

Card Exchange – NEW for 2016

If you have played Star Wars Card Trader, you are well familiar with the concept of the card exchange. Basically, you will exchange cards you have for special offers of higher level base cards or other rewards through the interface. The cards you exchange will be REMOVED from your collection, so do not exchange any card you want to keep, unless you are sure you can replace it.

To access the card exchange, go to the main sheet and select it from the top menu. It will bring up a list of cards that are available to exchange, including ones you already have. Different cards require different things to achieve the requirements for the exchange, so be sure to note the formula when you pull up the card you want.

 

Equipment Cards – NEW for 2016

This year, equipment cards will be in play for use in the new card exchange. In order to take advantage of most offers, you will need to pick up a lot of equipment from base packs or equipment packs.

There are five levels of equipment, and its in your best interest to try to pick up as many as you can to get the higher level examples. Exchanges on batter cards will require the 3 batter specific items plus the two universal. Same for the pitchers, only it will require the pitcher specific equipment.

These cards will be in high demand at first, but may be come increasingly more common as the season goes on. I would use that situation to your advantage.

Ticket Marathons – NEW for 2016

For all marathons, minus the main three (sig, relic, limited), you will need to pull the cards from packs to get access to the award that is offered for completing a set of each leg of the marathon.

For each ticket based marathon insert, you will receive a free pack containing a resource ticket that will be used to acquire the award through the card exchange.  For 10 tickets, you will receive a guaranteed award card. For 5 tickets, you will get a 50/50 shot. The tickets are not able to be acquired through trades, so buying the cards on ebay or having them in your collection will not be enough.

NOTE: If you have 10 tickets, you can still save them if you want multiple award chances later on in the set. There is not a limit on how many awards you can redeem. Similarly, if you want to try two of the five ticket award exchanges, you will have a shot to get two awards at a 25% clip. you will also have a 75% chance of getting at least 1 award for using this method.

Trading on the App

  • You will not be able to be a top player without trading. Its one of the most important elements of the game, and will be one of the only ways to truly reach full potential.
  • Start at the bottom and work your way up. You will get to open a lot of packs during the course of the game, so dont think it is necessary to accumulate every card in the game from the start. Try to set collecting goals for both your card sheet and your gaming deck. Accomplishing these goals one by one is a much more reasonable approach than going crazy and trying to get everything.
  • YOU WILL NOT GET EVERY CARD IN THE GAME. Inserts are hard to pull, and are valuable because of that reason. You might go a number of packs before you pull an insert.
  • Go on the fan feed and search out players that have a high trader score and a high collection score by their name. They will likely have a ton of duplicate cards and will trade you commons and boosts for next to nothing.
  • Be conscious of who you are trading with! Collectors will value rarity over gameplay and points players will want multiple copies of high scoring cards. If you go into someone’s profile, and see they have a ton of nice cards but not many dupes, they may be a collector. Points players will have tons of boosts and high scoring cards in multiples.
  • For a collector type user, dont offer on their single cards, and be very conscious of the card count number on the back of the card. If you have a low count card that they want, you will be golden. But dont expect them to part with their prized possessions easily.
  • For points type users, I would suggest offering more on the cards with dupes above nine. It means that they have more of that player than they can play at one time. They may be saving trade bait for new cards, so dont lowball them and expect them to be happy.
  • Sigs are the highest value cards in the game, dont offer commons and non-inserts for any of these cards. It will only cause friction and low trader scores. I had to give up quite a bit of nice cards to get my first sig. You will have to work your way up to it or get lucky and pull one in a pack.
  • I would suggest against lowballing any player when it comes to high value cards. When it comes to lower value cards, lowball away. You never know, but be prepared to be ignored if you offer junk for nice stuff.
  • Historically, pitchers carry more value than hitters as a rule, although its different with certain inserts and sets that are available. Dont be surprised if someone turns down your Mike Trout for their Felix Hernandez.
  • Never offer more than one trade at a time to anyone. Give them time to respond to an offer before offering again.
  • If a player declines your trade without a counter, do not try offering again on that card for at least a few hours. No one likes being harassed.
  • New inserts are always worth more than older inserts. If a new insert is released, it automatically becomes more valuable than older inserts of that same rarity. Dont expect to trade 1-1 for a new card with an old card. Some collectors are rabid, so they will overpay, and some collectors will hold out for a good offer.
  • Dont offer a ton of trades with the same card involved. If one of the traders accepts, the rest of the trades are voided. Diversify your offers!
  • Even though old cards do not score, collection centerpiece cards still maintain value. Do not expect to be able to trade commons for rare old cards, just because they are old.
  • NOTE: Just because someone doesnt have the card you have does not mean they will necessarily overpay for it. Need does not always equal want.

Navigating the Fan Feed

  • The fan feed can be accessed from the social header on the main app homepage
  • This is the place where the majority of the app’s trading takes place, as it will be a running feed of player comments that post what they are giving and what they are looking for
  • Some feed posts are more detailed than others, as some collectors only want specific cards, while others are open to just wheeling and dealing
  • A pithy approach is preferred, so many users use shorthand for different terms within the game. I have built a glossary for the majority of those terms at the top of this page.
  • To get the most offers, post frequently. At busy times of the day, the feed will average 50-100 posts per minute, leading to your post getting buried if you do not re-submit at least a few times.
  • I will usually post 3-4 posts in 2-3 minutes and then start checking my trades.
  • If you want to locate certain types of posts, use the search feature to look for people that mentioned what you are looking for in your collection.

Collection Score and Trader Feedback Rating

  • Collection score is a live updated accumulation rating of the completeness of your cards as compared to other users in the game
  • Your collection score will change frequently as new cards are released, or you add/subtract cards from your collection.
  • Because collection score is an amalgamation of you vs everyone else, your score may change with no direct influence.
  • Users with a sub 50 collection score are likely new users who have yet to really accumulate many cards
  • Users with a collection score of 50-60 are seasoned users who have some nice cards, but may not have the firepower of advanced users
  • Users with a collection score of 60-90 are some of the top collectors and gamers, but still have a lot of room to grow their collection
  • Users with a collection score above 90 are the top users, and will likely not have many cards they dont have, consult their collections to see what they might need before making offers.
  • Trader feedback represents how other users have scored your trade offers, and it is visible to everyone in the game.
  • I look at trader rating score as more an indicator to YOU as to the strength of YOUR offers, rather than an indicator for the rest of the app. If your score is low, your offers are not hitting the right notes. If they are high, keep on doing what you are doing.
  • A low trader feedback rating will not prevent me from trading with someone that has a card I need.

Blind Trading

  • Users do not have to go to the fan feed to trade
  • You can make an offer blind to up to five users at a time from the main card sheet, by clicking on the button in the bottom navigation bar, clicking on “my cards” at the top of the screen, and bringing up “all cards.”
  • From there, select the card you want and touch the trade logo at the bottom.
  • Blind trades do not consider the cards already in the people’s collections, so be careful when crafting your offer
  • For blind trading, the general rule of thumb is to overpay. The rarer a card is, the more you should overpay in your offer. Because you cannot see what they have, you need to make sure what you offer is enough to replace the card.
  • It is customary to include a note stating the trade was blind, just so that the user knows that their collection was not accessible during the trade request

Buying Packs

  • NOTE: Make sure you have push notifications turned on, no matter how annoying they may seem. You do not want to miss a special pack release because you were away from the app with no messages.
  • There are many different kinds of packs available, and each pack will have different content and different chases associated with it.
  • Base packs usually are used for building your lineup and may have some marathon type inserts available at any given time
  • Insert packs are usually tied to a specific card or set, and have base included as well. Pay attention to the news feed to find out about new packs.
  • Before buying a pack note the cost, the contents, and the spread of base levels within the pack. Some packs may only have certain base levels in the contents, so it will be very important to take a look at the odds.
  • Inserts are hard to pull. You may go days without pulling them if you only open a few packs at a time. Do not get frustrated. This is normal and designed this way.
  • Daily coin bonus is your lifeblood, so get into the app at least once per day. You can either save up for a nicer pack of cards, or open some lower packs each day.
  • If you are brand new to the game, its best to build your collection by buying cheaper packs before you dive into the more expensive insert packs. Try to accumulate some nice cards to play for points, which will get you more coins and more prizes if you can score among the top users.
  • It is best to buy packs right after the insert release announcement is made via push notification or on twitter. There will be more people opening packs at that point, and it will be more likely that you will get nicer stuff.
  • In all likelihood you will need to buy coins at some point to be competitive. Its just hard to beat the people who do if you choose not to. You dont have to spend a lot, but its good to invest 10-20 bucks a month if you really want to get nice stuff.

VIP System

The VIP system is a rewards platform for people who spend money on the app. It is determined by the amount of coins purchased by the user over the course of a calendar month. From my experience, you will not achieve gold VIP status without about 750K-1M coins purchased over a month. This number fluctuates month to month, based on the mean average of per capita spending from the user base.

Black and Diamond VIP status can take quite a bit of money to achieve. If coins usually make up 10-20% of the coins you bought from the app, you can see how much some of the people probably spend. There is also no guarantee that you will achieve the status, as it all depends on the rest of the VIP thresholds set by the rest of the spending.

These are all relative numbers based on feedback from users, but all is a guess.

Staying on Top of the Action

The Bunt team is VERY active on all aspects of social media. I would make it a point to follow and engage with all the below accounts. If you dont have Twitter, this it the time to take the plunge.

  • @ToppsBUNT – Main Twitter account for the app. Has news and updates that are essential
  • @TOPPSMIKE and @TOPPSHANFORD – Producers for Bunt that will tweet out some very valuable information about the game
  • @ChrisVaccaro – Topps Digital’s Editor in Chief
  • @TOPPSDAN – Card designer for the app
  • @NeilKleid – Topps Digital’s art director